IGTV, a true YouTube competitor?

With the launch of IGTV, Instagram is becoming more like Facebook in being an all-in-one platform for both personal interests and friends, but built for the smartphone era.

It’s also clear how YouTube messed up and missed a lot of opportunities — The law of the handicap of a head start — in terms of gaming live streaming (Twitch), stories and fan-creator interaction in general. Their creators went to Instagram and Snapchat, while they could and should have kept them within the platform.

Popular Fortnite streamer Ninja may have around 14 million subscribers on YouTube, he livestreams to 8 million followers on Twitch, despite the existence of YouTube Gaming. He shares highlights clips to 6 million followers on Instagram.

YouTube is catching up with services like YouTube Gaming and Reels, which apparently was renamed to Stories. But it seems too little, too late.

It’s easy to think YouTube will always be the biggest video platform and one of the biggest distractions in general, but more and more it seems to be a platform that’s built around notifications. with the “bell” you can choose to receive notifications for all your favorite creators; why would I spent any more time on the site or in the app if I can see everything I want that way?

When you open Instagram, on the other hand, there’s always something new. It’s also very much a mobile first experience and because it’s both videos and photos it’s also friendlier towards your limited data plan. If you only have a few minutes to spare, you can just quickly browse. 
Obviously the most noticeable thing about IGTV is the vertical aspect ratio. I used the app for a day and found it relatively natural. It has mostly been popularized by Snapchat and in Instagram it also simply makes sense because the full app is vertical. 

Some of the videos I saw were specifically shot and/or edited for the format, others were recycled Instagram posts. Selena Gomez published ‘A love story’, a creepy short film that was made for the launch. Ninja released a quick welcome video in which he questions what Fortntie would look like vertically. 

It’s interesting to see what kind of content will emerge eventually. People made creative use of Vine’s (RIP) time limit, for example. When it comes to being a YouTube competitor I think IGTV has the biggest chance out of all recent efforts. Certainly for a 1.0 it seems quite well thought out. For creators, monetization also is a big deal of course and those plans have yet to be revealed. YouTube hasn’t been doing a great job when it comes to that recently, so it might be relatively easy to win people over.

Instagram used to have the creators, YouTube the content. Now it might get both.
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